Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Build-a-Baby...a straight baby, nonetheless.

I enjoy convenience as much as the next girl. I love shopping online, being pampered, and getting my way. I like to choose the Chanel mascara the best complements my outfits. I do not, however, feel the need to custom create my own child.

Researchers at Oregon University are not only claiming that they can detect the gene that creates homosexuality, but that they can even turn those fetuses straight. Really? I mean really?

It's not as far-fetched as it sounds. Already, some scientists claim they can potentially identify fetuses hardwired for homosexuality, and the gap between recognition and intervention is quickly narrowing. Lately some of the more notable research on the subject has focused on animals—namely, sheep. As it turns out, one in 10 rams prefers the company of other rams, a situation of considerable concern to the livestock industry. Last December, following an intensive three-year study, researchers at two Oregon universities announced they had successfully used a hormonal patch to alter the brains of gay rams to make them mate with ewes—effectively turning them straight. (The experiment didn't go over well with some gay rights advocates, notably tennis player Martina Navratilova, who called the study "homophobic and cruel" and said it deprived the sheep of their "right" to be gay.) In an article on the study in London's Sunday Times, experts predicted that within a decade, similar patches would allow parents to change fetuses' sexual orientation.

Well before that, expectant parents will likely be able to screen their embryos and choose one with the "correct" sexual preference. Even now, doctors are testing for a number of attributes using a procedure called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), which involves growing embryos in petri dishes and testing their DNA before implanting them in the uterus. PGD has until recently been used exclusively to check for more than 1,300 chromosomal disorders, but traits such as eye color, height, and hair color can also easily be predicted by DNA analysis. In many cases, they're marked by a single gene.

Soon, as geneticists map the location of the genes responsible for more complex behaviors and pinpoint, once and for all, those that help determine homosexuality, such traits, too, will factor into would-be parents' decisions to implant an embryo and carry it to term—or to toss it and all of its undesirable qualities in the trash.

I know I can't be the only one who finds this prospect terrifying and bleak, not to mention absolutely absurd! I mean, it would certainly be tempting to hardwire my future little girl (ha! me with a child...cute) to have great hair , a good complexion, and a killer rack (let's be honest. It helps.) I'm pretty sure that if I did have a little boy, I would checkmark the "gay" box. I'm pretty sure we'd get along a lot better, and understand each other.

Do you think they'll eventually open up a drive-thru where you can select the traits you want your baby to have, and then the acne-ridden attendent will ask "would you like gay with that?"

A funny story is that I don't know how to link to a source here's the whole article if you'd like to read it!


hellocolleenie said...

Yay! Sara's first post! :-) Love it!!!

xine said...

Baby's first blog. Yay! Well done!

I hope they figure out how to make babies straight because I want to use the technology but in reverse to build my own clan of flaming baby boys. Seriously, I hate talking about having kids by if my hypothetical children are boys and they're not gay, I'm going to be crushed.

adrienne said...

ok, i just went to the warhol museum yesterday to see this exhibit about nazi germany creating "the master race." this is a little too similar for my tastes... creepy. the funny thing is, i have to agree w/xine... i, too would chose a gay child... i would grow my own little lesbian and teach her softball and wicker-winding.
anyhooo, good job, sara~

OldWiseOne said...

Maybe they could spend a little more time on finding the gene that causes MS, or Parkinsons, or Lupus, or some other actual disease instead of looking into how to rid the world of the pestilence of the gay gays. Hey prospective parents, which is more important to you: that your child is born healthy or born straight? If you choose the latter you have just failed Parenting 101 and should now be sterilized.